Decision : 31 COM 8B.49
Nomination of natural, mixed and cultural properties to the world heritage list - Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Documents WHC-07/31.COM/8B and WHC-07/31.COM/INF.8B.1,
2. Inscribes Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, Azerbaijan, on the World Heritage List under criterion (iii);
3. Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:
Gobustan has outstanding universal value for the quality and density of its rock art engravings, for the substantial evidence the collection of rock art images presents for hunting, fauna, flora and lifestyles in pre-historic times and for the cultural continuity between prehistoric and mediaeval times that the site reflects.
Criterion (iii): The rock engravings are an exceptional testimony to a way of life that has disappeared in the way they represent so graphically activities connected with hunting and fishing at a time when the climate and vegetation of the area were warmer and wetter than today.
The most remote and undisturbed landscapes are the Jinghirdag Moutain-Yazylytepe hill and Kichikdash Mountain. These areas need to be fully protected in order to ensure they keep their authenticity. The most visited site, Boyukdash, has more disturbances in the form of installations such as a prison and stone quarry, which should be managed as part of the Management Plan.
The knowledge of the site does not extend evenly across the whole rock art reservation. It would be desirable for a large-scale survey of the wider environment to be carried out to ensure the extent of protection needed to ensure the overall integrity of the rock art corpus.
The legal protective measures for the property are adequate. There is a need to complete the documentation, put in place active conservation measures and improve the technical competence of staff to carry out necessary urgent conservation work.
4. Recommends the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed on the implementation of the action plan and measures defined in the Presidential decree according to their time frame;
5. Encourages the State Party to give high priority to international cooperation within the proposed joint project for the conservation of the site;
6. Recommends the State Party to consider a possible renomination of this property also under criterion (vi).